Ask a Mentor Series: Pinoy Nurse Trelly

English version follows

Merong nangyari sa akin noong unang-una kong shift assignment dito sa Canada. Kinailangan kong kumuha ng vital signs ng pasyente ko. Tinanong ko ang Charge Nurse kung nasaan ang thermometer. Sabi nandoon daw sa utility room.

Pumunta ako kaagad doon, pero wala, hindi ko mahanap ang thermometer. Balik ako sa Charge Nurse: baka raw ginagamit ng ibang nurse. Hanap-hanap ko na naman sa ibang nurse, di ko pa rin makita ang salbaheng thermometer! Nakakahiya na.

Sinamahan na ako ng Charge Nurse. Ayan o, sabi nya, tinuturo ang ear thermometer. Yun pala yun? Eh akala ko yung me mercury na thermometer--yun ang hinahanap ko! Hiyang hiya ako.  

Ganyan ang isang challenge dito sa Canada kasi iba ang ginagamit nilang mga medical tools kesa sa atin sa Pilipinas.

Kaya kung meron kayong oportunidad habang naghihintay ng inyong mga papeles, mag-attend kayo ng workshops o seminars gaya ng IV Therapy, Wound Care, Tracheostomy Care, Ostomy Care, at iba pa kasi mas maganda sa resume yung dagdag na “skill at knowledge” at mapabilis ang paghanap ng trabaho.

Alam nyo ba na itinaas na ng Canada ang kabuuang numero ng quota ng mga imigrante? Kaya kung talagang interesado kayong pumunta dito sa Canada, umpisahan ninyo na ang pag-apply!

Ang laki ng pangangailangan ng Canada sa mga nurses ngayon kaya magandang oportunidad para sa inyo ang pag-apply.

Babala: huwag po kayong pumunta dito sa Canada na me student visa o kaya caregiver (tatalakayin ko ito sa susunod na isyu). Bakit kamo? Napakamahal ng school fees bukod pa sa isang milyong pesos na show money na kinakailangang ipakita sa Embassy.

Oo, mabilis nga ang approval pero isipin ninyo yung ginastos ninyo sa school fees ay sobrang mahal ikumpara sa ibinabayad ng citizens ng Canada.  Bukod pa diyan, isa hanggang dalawang taon bago kayo matapos ng kurso.

Pagkatapos niyan ay dapat makakita na kayo ng full-time na trabaho bilang nurse sa loob ng isang taon kung hindi e pauuwiin kayo sa Pilipinas! Kahit malaki ang pangangailangan ng nurses dito, medyo mahirap mag-hanap ng full-time na trabaho.

Malamang na mag-umpisa kayo sa casual, tapos part-time bago maging full-time. Kaya kung mauumpisahan ninyo ang magtrabaho kaagad, mas nakakabuti sa inyo. Maraming casual na trabaho, puwede ninyong pagsabayin para full-time pa ang oras at kita ninyo. Kung me bakanteng part-time o full-time sa gusto mong ospital, mas madali na ang pag-apply o pagpasok ng trabaho.

At tsaka kung immigrant ka, makakapagtrabaho ka ng kung anong trabaho habang nag-aaral ng mga kursong kinakailangan para sa College of Nurses. Di ba mas maganda ito?

Uulitin ko, huwag kumuha ng ahente. Hindi mahirap sundin ang proseso, pumunta na lang kayo sa Canadian Embassy website para sa mga forms at kung magkano ang ibabayad sa aplikasyon. Hindi mapapabilis ang aplikasyon kung may ahente: alam nga nila ang proseso pero hindi naman mahirap maintindihan (Magagalit nga lang ang mga ahente sa akin!)

Sasagutin ko muna ang dalawang tanong mula sa unang issue:

1) Talaga bang kailangan ang NCLEX para marehistro sa pagka-nurse sa Canada? Malaking oo. Kagaya yan ng Board Exam sa Pilipinas, hindi ka puwedeng maging Registered Nurse kung hindi ka makapasa sa Board Exam. Pero kailangang ok ka rin sa mga requirements ng College of Nurses in Ontario (o kung saang probinsiya na gusto mong pasukan). Isabay mo silang dalawa para mas mabilis. I-google mo lang ang NCLEX website para sa mga pormas at requirements nila.

2) Meron bang testing centre sa Pilipinas? Base sa pinakahuling impormasyon, ang sagot ay oo–ang tawag sa centre ay Pearson Professional Center sa Makati. Walang petsa kung kailan ang exam pero ibibigay yan sa iyo kung meron ka nang “Authorization to Test" o ATT.

Hanggang sa muli, ingat lagi !

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During my first shift assignment here in Canada, I was so excited to work. One of my first tasks was to take the vital signs of my patients so I asked the Charge Nurse where the thermometer was.

She directed me to the Utility Room where I went immediately in search of the thermometers. I couldn't find it. She said maybe the other nurses were using it.

I waited a bit to see if other nurses would return the thermometer. When no one returned it, I asked the Charge Nurse again. She then accompanied me and promptly pointed at the ear thermometers!

I was so embarrassed: the whole time I was looking for the old-fashioned mercury thermometers. My point in sharing this is to advise you to take the opportunity to upgrade your skills and knowledge to familiarize yourselves with more modern equipment and procedures especially with the Canadian Health Care System.

Additional skills and knowledge in your resume will also look good and will expedite your job search and hopefully, get the job you want.

Did you know that Canada has just increased its annual quota for immigrants? Because of the dire need for health care workers, your chances for a rapid application approval is great.

A word of caution: do not be tempted to apply as a student or as a caregiver (I will tackle this in the next issue). Yes, it may be the fastest way to get an approval but your school fees are a lot higher than a Canadian citizen. Plus you will be required to have show money (latest information is one million pesos!)

If you come here with a student visa, after your schooling is done, you will be required to obtain a full-time job as a nurse within a year, otherwise you will be sent back to the Philippines.

Getting a full-time nursing job, despite the demand, is quite difficult. One often starts with a casual position, then part-time before the hospitals or health organizations hire you on as a full-time worker with benefits. This process will take time and the one year requirement might be over before you get a full-time position.

On the other hand, if you apply as an immigrant, you can work in any field and earn money while you finish any additional requirements from the College of Nurses. Isn’t this a better option?

Let me respond to a couple of questions from the previous issue: yes, passing the NCLEX is required before one can work as a Registered Nurse in Canada. One must meet the requirements of the College of Nurses prior to registration.

The second question raised was whether or not there is a centre for NCLEX in Makati. Yes, it's called the Pearson Professional Center. There is no schedule for the exam but you will be given an Authorization to Test or ATT after you are deemed qualified.

Until next issue, take care always.

Feel free to send me a question anytime.

Estrella Cayaba-Mercurio (Ate Estrel)

BSN, RN, MA, GNC, N SWOCC

Estrella.mercurio@gmail.com

(416) 316-9158